Solana Beach School District board commits to additional school safety measures

A family heads into Solana Vista School on the first day of school.
(Karen Billing)

Starting with the new school year, the Solana Beach School District schools will be locking their front office doors, requiring all visitors and volunteers to be admitted by school personnel before being allowed on campus. The board unanimously agreed to immediately implement this additional school safety measure and others at its Aug. 11 meeting.

Many school districts reassessed their safety and security plans following the May shooting in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 students and two teachers were killed. Since June, Solana Beach has been actively reviewing school safety measures and seeking input and recommendations to determine additional measures that would increase security on its campuses.

According to the district, over the summer every school principal conducted a site safety walk with local law enforcement, followed up by a site walk with a district leadership team that included members of the board. As a result of these walks, law enforcement reaffirmed many of the schools’ safety measures and provided additional recommendations to further protect students, staff, visitors and volunteers.

Additional safety and social-emotional recommendations will be phased in at district schools over the coming months including determining off-site evacuation/reunification locations by site, monthly site safety walks, defensive landscaping and other exterior and interior improvements.

“Providing socially, emotionally, and physically safe and secure learning environments at all Solana Beach School District schools remains a top priority today and into the future,” said SBSD board President Vicki King in a news release. “We greatly appreciate and thank our staff and families for their support as we work together to keep safety at the forefront of all that we do.”